Wanna make a pretty frock?

I’ve been a fan of Burda patterns and BurdaStyle for a few years now, and love the idea of open source sewing patterns. Unfortunately in recent years, the BurdaStyle site has deviated from the open source ideology however there are still a bunch of talented users on the site uploading their own patterns!

When I came across the Coffee Date Dress by elainemay I was enamoured but felt predictable disappointment when I discovered that the pattern only covered a limited range of small sizes. Since I’ve got a bit of pattern drafting experience, I decided to grade the Coffee Date Dress up to a Burda size 60 (or US 28, I think). I could have just graded it up to my measurements but I decided to take the pattern into Illustrator and grade it up to fit sizes 44-60. Obviously, simply enlarging such a small pattern to begin with will not fit plus sizes straight out of the box and here’s where you can help.

If you are Burda size 44-60, love to sew, and have experience with Burda’s print-at-home patterns, then I’d love to send you the plus size Coffee Date Dress pattern to sew up. I need to check that my grading is adequate, and if the markings and instructions make sense. If you know a bit about fit, and can help with alterations that will enhance fit on plus size bodies, I’d also love to get some feedback on that.

Some important things to note:

  • This is a draft pattern. Results may vary! If you notice an error in the pattern, layout or instructions please let me know.
  • The BurdaStyle How-To’s referred to in the instructions are now in the Learning section of the site.
  • If you’d like to add sleeves there are a number of styles in the Learning section, and if you’d like to add pockets use this How-To.
  • Seam allowance is NOT included. You must add whatever seam allowance you prefer to sew with. I usually add 15mm.
  • I suggest making this up in a cheap piece of fabric you’re not really attached to. I’m going to make mine out of an old sheet.
  • The BurdaStyle size chart does NOT cater for sizing beyond size 48 (US 16). I have used the power of maths to scale this chart up to a 60 (US 28) and my size chart is included in the pattern.
  • If you can take photos of your finished product (on you, preferably!) and email them to me, that would be FABULOUS!

If you have the time and the skills and would like to help me refine this pattern so I can make it available on BurdaStyle, leave a comment! I will use the email address that is attached to your Disqus comment and send you an email with a link to the pattern in a zip file.


  1. I'm all over this! Do send me a copy and I will make it up and give you the feedback.

    Now to look through my stash and see if I have anything with suitable drape… methinks silk twill for the lining.

  2. Hey Natalie, I'd love to have a go at this pattern for you. I'm not really familiar with the Burda sizes though.

  3. I'm pretty good at maths but the thought of resizing a pattern makes my head spin!

    I hope you get lots of photos of people's finished products. It'd be great to see all the amazingly creative things ppl can do with the same basic pattern.

  4. Ok here's my extended size chart – at the moment it uses only centimetres, so you might have to get out a converter depending on what unit of measurement you use!

    <img src=”https://definatalie.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/size-chart.png”>

  5. I'm dying to get my hands on this pattern, but I'm not sure how helpful my feedback will be, since my proportions are way not standard (hips three sizes bigger than shoulders, super short-waisted, etc). But I'd love to give it a go!

  6. Ooh, I'm loving this! I'm not an excellent sewer, but I'd love to give this one a go! Curves need dresses like this one! :D

  7. I've made a couple of Burda patterns, so I'm down! (I've been eyeing off this dress for a while now too)

  8. I would love to try this – I'm a novice sewer but if you can get it to me this week I'm going on a craft weekend over the Queen's bday with the express intention of having my crafty peeps help me gain some confidence! This is definitely at my skill level, although it might involve swearing. I have taken a pattern drafting course as well, and while I haven't put it to GREAT use yet, I have the general concept down.

    I'd be a burda size 50, I think, and I might be able to convince one of the other women who is an Aussie 22 I think, to make one.

  9. I have a question. Do you know what kind of cup size this pattern approaches? Many patterns are drafted to a B-cup but some (like Collette's) tend to fit the fuller bust. Any knowledge you could drop on me?

  10. I doubt the original pattern was drafted with larger than a C cup in mind, but that said, there are quite a lot of different bodies making the dress work! Check out photos of the finished dress taken by other people who've made the straight size version of this dress:

    I just cut out my pattern pieces in size 60, and I may well fit it in the bust. I'm a G cup! Unfortunately though, the waist seems to be a bit too neat :(
    I'll definitely be widening it.

  11. (i did this with a burda dress a while back) but i won't have time for about 3/4 weeks? if that's an ok time frame, i'd love to help :)

  12. Wow! Thanks Natalie! I've seen this dress on the Burda site and lusted after it many times. Thanks so much for doing this. I'd love to give it a try.

  13. I would love to give this a shot! I'm totally not a sewer but It could be my Queens Bday weekend project while the other half plays video games.

  14. I would love to give this a bash. I am a fairly proficient dress maker so could probably knock it out pretty quickly :)

  15. not sure if you have ever been to thisisemilykate.blogspot.com but she is well into sewing and attends Burda classes in Melbourne. you really should get to know each other. I, on the otherhand, like sewing from afar and admire the few who are intimate with their Singer's.

  16. I'm an 18ish in Australian sizes, and I have plenty of sewing and patternmaking skills, so I would be happy to try it out. I have fairly conventional proportions, aside from being a bit short in the leg. I can't promise I'll get it down ASAP though, what with working crazy chef hours XD

  17. Sign me up! I had the same reaction when I saw this dress on Frock by Friday from Grosgrain. I usually have to size up patterns, but it takes forever because I do it by hand with a ruler. I'm doing a lot of sewing this summer and along with loving the coffee date dress, it would make a lovely frock for work :D

  18. please and thank you! and especially thanks for all of your hard work put into this!

  19. Natalie this is FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for this – I need to get back into sewing and I'll definitely give this a go :D xx

  20. looks like you've gotten a lot of responses, but if you are still looking for a tester, i'd love to give it a go! that's a beautiful dress :)

  21. Hi Nat

    I only just saw this. I'd love to try this out. Can you send me the pattern?

    Many thanks


  22. I know I'm a few days late, but I'd love to make it and give you feedback! I'm on the small end of your range (44, I think, maybe 46).

    Also, hi, I'm Millie, I'm new here *waves*

  23. Hey Millie, I've just had a chance to sew up the bodice and even at this stage I can see that I've got a lot of adjustments to make. I will include you on the next draft, but for now I think if I send you this draft I'm setting you up for failure!

  24. Can I include you in the next draft release? After sewing up the bodice I can see there are a lot of things to correct for it to fit a plus sized body, eep!!

  25. Rachel, I will include you in the next release because I've just sewn up a muslin of the bodice and it needs a lot of adjustment!

  26. Hi there! I'm an avid sewer and seriously just stumbled upon your website about 5o seconds ago. I would love to have a go at the second draft of your dress ^.^ When you're ready for the next release please think of me!

    Kristy xx

  27. I would absolutely love to give it a go. I love to read your blog, it's so inspiring how you make me realise that liking myself isn't a crime. It won't get done until after my exams, but I am definitely up for giving it a go.

  28. Hi Natalie! Just discovered your blog. Amazing!! I would love to try out your me-size-included version of the coffee date dress pattern…what, you just email it around or something?
    I'm not a very advanced sewist, but in the three years that I've been at it, I've made bunches of clothes for m'self, which means that I've leaned quick about adjusting patterns for better fit, grading and so on :)

  29. Oh, it's me, Amy, again. Just read all these comments…can I be part of that second draft group?

  30. I'm glad to hear there's a second draft and would love to be included. I have my dress and lining fabric put aside!

  31. Hi! I love that dress – I've been admiring it but haven't gotten around to grading it myself… Could you send me the pattern? Thanks!
    [email protected]
    (earlsmommy on LJ)

  32. I've just started reading back over your blog and saw this post! I'd love to be a part of your draft reviewing group if you're still looking for people. I have the perfect opshop sheet set aside for this type of project!!!

  33. Found your lovely blog today after searching for any larger sizes on Burda- (no such luck). Although I am quite the novice seamstress, I would very much like to try my hand at this dress, if you don't mind sharing your draft. Thank you for your hard work.

    It is possible the rest of my afternoon may be spent perusing your lovely blog. <3

    crystalannfloyd [at] gmail [dot] com many thanks!

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